Manny Ramirez was born on May 30, 1972, in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic and raised near Yankee Stadium in Queens, New York. He's played with the Cleveland Indians, the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers. In 2004, he helped the Red Sox end an 86-year World Series losing streak in a four-game sweep against the St. Louis Cardinals. Ramirez was named the Series' MVP.
Born in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, Manny Ramirez grew up a short distance from Yankee Stadium. Ramirez attended George Washington High School in Washington Heights, a neighborhood in New York City . There he excelled at baseball and was named All-City for three years in a row—1989, 1990 and 1991. During his senior year, Ramirez was selected as the New York City Public School High School Player of the Year in 1991.
Ramirez was picked by the Cleveland Indians in the 1991 Major League Baseball draft. The right-handed outfielder started out his career with the Burlington Indians, a team associated with the Cleveland Indians in the Appalachian League.
Major League Star
Ramirez made his major league debut with the Cleveland Indians in 1993. He soon proved to be one of the best hitters in league. He won the American League Silver Slugger Award in 1995. That same year, Ramirez made the All-Star Team for the first time—a honor he would achieve 11 more times during his career.
In 2001, Ramirez went to play for the Boston Red Sox 2001. He reached his best battling average the following year, becoming the top batter in the American League. Ramirez helped the Sox end an 86-year losing streak to become World Champions in a four-game World Series sweep against the St. Louis Cardinals in 2004. Ramirez was named the Series' Most Valuable Player that year.
Off the field, Ramirez was not happy with his team and its management. He asked to traded after the 2005 and 2006 seasons, but those requests were denied. The team management also had issues with Ramirez, frustrated by his occasional lack of hustle while running the bases or the outfield. Still he managed to help the Sox clinch another World Series victory against the Colorado Rockies in 2007. But the behind-the-scenes tension came to a head in 2008. Ramirez was involved in a dugout shoving match with teammate Kevin Youkilis and knocked down team traveling secretary Jack McCormick, 62, to the ground.
Ramirez was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers that July. "The Red Sox don't deserve a player like me,” Ramirez told ESPNdeportes the day before he was traded to the Dodgers. “During my years here I've seen how they have mistreated other great players when they didn't want them to try to turn the fans against them."
Despite his conflicts with the Boston front office, Ramirez was a wildly popular player among the fans. But he often raised eyebrows for his peculiar behavior which included playing left field with a water bottle in his back pocket and frequently disappearing into Fenway Park's Green Monster scoreboard during pitching changes.
Ramirez played for the Dodgers from 2008 to 2010 and then had brief stints with the Chicago White Sox and Tampa Bay Rays. In 2011, he retired from baseball after playing only five games for the Rays. His retirement came as news broke about Ramirez failing a drug test, reportedly testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug. Ramirez had already served a 50-game suspension for violating the league's drug policy in 2009.
Later in 2011, Ramirez worked out an agreement with Major League Baseball officials to return to the game. He only had to serve another 50-game suspension, not a 100-game suspension, which the usual penalty for a second drug offense. In 2012, Ramirez signed a deal with the Oakland Athletics, but his time with the team was short-lived.
Ramirez played with an Athletics-associated AAA team and not back in the majors, and he then requested to be released from his contract. "The A’s treated me amazingly during all this time, but sadly didn’t have space for me and this is something I can’t control. I’m going home to continue my training hoping to get the chance to play again," Ramirez said, according to Yardbarker.com.
Ramirez and his wife, Juliana, live in Weston, Florida. He has three sons, including one from a previous relationship.
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